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Team Reasoning as a Guide to Coordination

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  • Lahno, Amrei M.
  • Lahno, Bernd

Abstract

A particular problem of traditional Rational Choice Theory is that it cannot explain equilibrium selection in simple coordination games. In this paper we analyze and discuss the solution concept for common coordination problems as incorporated in the theory of Team Reasoning (TR). Special consideration is given to TR's concept of opportunistic choice and to the resulting restrictions in using private information. We report results from a laboratory experiment in which teams were given a chance to coordinate on a particular pattern of behavior in a sequence of HiLo games. A modification of the stage game offered opportunities to improve on the team goal through changing this accustomed pattern of behavior. Our observations throw considerable doubt on the idea of opportunistic team reasoning as a guide to coordination. Contrary to what TR would predict, individuals tend to stick to accustomed behavioral patterns. Moreover, we find that individual decisions are at least partly determined by private information not accessible to all members of a team. Alternative theories of choice, in particular cognitive hierarchy theory may be more suitable to explain the observed pattern of behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Lahno, Amrei M. & Lahno, Bernd, 2014. "Team Reasoning as a Guide to Coordination," Discussion Papers in Economics 20822, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:20822
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/20822/1/Lahno_2014_MDP_July.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernd Lahno, 2007. "Rational Choice and Rule-Following Behavior," Rationality and Society, , vol. 19(4), pages 425-450, November.
    2. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898.
    3. Bacharach, Michael, 1999. "Interactive team reasoning: A contribution to the theory of co-operation," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 117-147, June.
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    7. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    8. Sugden, Robert, 2000. "Team Preferences," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 175-204, October.
    9. Herbert Gintis, 2010. "Social norms as choreography," Politics, Philosophy & Economics, , vol. 9(3), pages 251-264, August.
    10. Nicholas Bardsley & Judith Mehta & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2010. "Explaining Focal Points: Cognitive Hierarchy Theory "versus" Team Reasoning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 40-79, March.
    11. Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Rational Choice: A Survey of Contributions from Economics and Philosophy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 751-785, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guilhem Lecouteux, 2018. "What does “we” want? Team Reasoning, Game Theory, and Unselfish Behaviours," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 128(3), pages 311-332.
    2. Lauren Larrouy, 2015. "Revisiting Methodological Individualism in Game Theory: The Contributions of Schelling and Bacharach," GREDEG Working Papers 2015-14, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    team reasoning; collective agency; coordination; opportunistic choice; laboratory experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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